When we found out we were expecting twins, we were nervous about the usual things you expect when you first hear the word “twins”: twice the feedings, twice the diapers, and twice the sleepless nights. At 19 weeks, however, we found out that there were serious complications, and our initial worries couldn’t even compare. We had started our prenatal care at another Birmingham hospital, and were referred to a specialized hospital out of state for further testing and opinions.
Before we stepped on that plane, though, I knew I didn’t want to give birth anywhere other than the UAB Women and Infants Center. I worked in the medical field for many years, and I knew that if any hospital could give our daughters a chance, it was UAB. After making a few calls, we were scheduled to be seen at the UAB Maternal-Fetal Medicine Clinic the very week we returned home. While our appointments were inherently stressful, the staff always put us at ease with their friendly attitudes, confidence, and experience with cases similar to ours.
Our daughters were born at 28 weeks – weighing 1 pound, 2 ounces and 2 pounds, 4 ounces – and they were immediately rushed to the Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (RNICU). We spent 163 long days in the RNICU and the Continuing Care Nursery, and we received love and support not only from friends and family but also from the staff. The nurses always provided us with hope and kindness and were just as excited about each positive change and milestone as we were. They were so professional and provided the critical care with such ease that there were times when we could forget our daughters’ tenuous situation and just love on them like typical parents. The nurses held our hands through each step, from our first kangaroo hold and diaper change to the dark times when the future was still so unknown. The nurses and staff in the RNICU work so hard to bring hope and joy to a situation that can feel hopeless.
The doctors and medical team included us in every aspect of care and kept us informed. They made time for and listened to the many questions of overwhelmed parents and respected our decisions. The doctors often checked in on us, even while on another service. It was obvious that they truly cared about our daughters’ progress, and we never felt like just another case or medical record number.
Our daughters have been home for a year and a half now, and while it hasn’t been easy, they are thriving. We’ve journeyed through with faith, hope, and a village. The UAB Women and Infants Center will always be a part of that village, and we are so glad we made that choice to trust our daughters to UAB.
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